CFMEU official facing court after allegedly claiming to be Steve Irwin

FWBC has launched proceedings against a CFMEU official who allegedly entered a New South Wales work site and falsely said he was Steve Irwin. The Federal Court of Australia could penalise him up to $10,200 for wrongly identifying himself.

The official, Anthony Kong, and fellow union organiser Chad Anthony Bragdon, are facing a combined 11 breaches of the Fair Work Act after they entered the $17.4 million project site in Mascot and allegedly told workers to stop work. FWBC alleges that some workers left site and work slowed down as a result of their directions.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said his agency is alleging the men did not show their federal Right of Entry permits and did not have the appropriate NSW work health and safety permits. Nor did they have the authorisation to direct people to stop work.

The men were allegedly on site for work health and safety purposes.

“Here we have another case of union officials allegedly using work health and safety to enter a site and then allegedly disrupting work,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“In a recent penalty hearing involving other CFMEU officials, His Honour Judge Burnett said words to the effect: The Right of Entry is a position of trust and those who seek to abuse the right should be dealt with. It is now up to the court to decide whether that right has been abused in this case.”

Mr Kong is facing a possible six breaches of the Fair Work Act, including one for falsely identifying himself.

FWBC is alleging the CFMEU is liable for the eleven breaches of the Fair Work Act by Mr Bragdon and Mr Kong; the BLF QLD is liable for the five breaches by Mr Bragdon and the CFMEU QLD is liable for the six breaches by Mr Kong .

The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act in this matter is $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a union.

A directions hearing is scheduled for 25 March 2014.

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